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NFB marks the passing of veteran animation champion Hélène Tanguay


Helene Tanguay. Photo: Jody Kramer

January 10, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) was saddened to learn that long-time NFB employee and animation champion Hélène Tanguay died on January 7, 2023.

Ms. Tanguay joined the NFB’s Festivals unit in 1970, at the age of 17.

In 1979 she began volunteering for ASIFA, the International Animated Film Association, working with the organization’s Canadian and international bodies.

In 1984 Hélène was named Marketing Manager for the NFB’s English Program Animation Studio in Montreal.

Hélène retired from the NFB in 2007, after almost 40 years of distinguished service in bringing the work of NFB creators to an ever-wider audience.

Following her retirement she remained deeply engaged with the animation world, and with countless artists and artisans who loved her.

Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’s award-winning 2022 animated short, The Flying Sailor, is dedicated to Hélène Tanguay. It is among 15 films shortlisted for Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards: bit.ly/3hLytV0


“Hélène Tanguay was an outstanding and unwavering ambassador for animated films. Everywhere she went, she left her mark, always with a human touch. Both professionally and privately, she tirelessly travelled the world presenting and viewing films. She forged relationships and helped build an active community of animation enthusiasts. Her sense of humour, generosity, countless anecdotes, extensive understanding of the field and immense knowledge of animated film made Hélène an extraordinary individual. She was driven by one desire: to spread the word about these artists and their work.

Though filmmakers and producers generally get the attention, today we want to shine a spotlight on someone who dedicated her career to promoting creators, whom she so fervently respected and admired. To this extended family, she bequeaths her unconditional love of animated film, for which we are eternally grateful.” – Julie Roy, Director General, Creation, Distribution and Marketing, and Chief Programming Officer

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French version here | Version française ici.

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  • About the NFB

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is one of the foremost creative centres in the world. As a public producer and distributor of Canadian content, a talent incubator and a lever for Canada’s creative sector, the NFB produces nearly one hundred titles every year—from socially engaged documentaries and auteur animation to groundbreaking interactive works and participatory experiences. It was among the first cultural organizations to make clear commitments to gender parity; to launch an action plan with the goal of supporting Indigenous perspectives; and to establish concrete actions and targets that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition to serving as a reference point around the world for digitization and preservation practices, the NFB ensures the long-term conservation of its works as part of the audiovisual heritage of all Canadians.